This week marks the beginning of Earth Month at UT. Celebrating its seventh year, Earth Month encourages environmental awareness, conservation, and sustainable practices to the campus community. The month-long event is celebrated across the globe and UT is excited to participate, offering events and activities that are both fun and interactive.
Faculty, staff, students, and alumni are sharing the big ideas that make a difference in their world. Students Lindsey Huff and Jordan Norton have the big idea of making 20 percent of UT’s food “real food” as part of a national competition called the Real Food Challenge.
Before you head out to spring break and eliminate your thoughts of work, purge your workspace of its paper. March 22 through 28 is UT’s Paper Purge Party, where faculty and staff are invited to purge unwanted paper. Simply put paper in a box, bin, pile, or bag, mark it for “recycling” and set it outside your office door. Volunteers with the Facilities Services department will make the rounds and do the heavy lifting. The Paper Purge Party is part of the RecycleMania Tournament, a competition between colleges and universities to see who can recycle the most.
In the spirit of friendly competition and going green, UT is hosting Recyclympics. Faculty, staff, and students will compete in six Olympic-style recycling-themed events and win prizes. Crowd-pleasing favorites include the phonebook shot put, plastic bottle free throw, and bottle-cap-in-a-haystack. The competition is 1:00 to 4:00 p.m. on March 12 in the Humanities/Social Sciences amphitheater.
The United States European Union Summit on Science, Technology, Innovation, and Sustainable Economic Growth—organized in part by UT—has produced five reports examining the critical impacts of investments in science, technology, and innovation on sustainable economic growth. The summit involved an interdisciplinary group of scientists, economists, academics, entrepreneurs and policy analysts from the US and EU and was held from 2010 to 2012 in Knoxville, Tennessee; Washington, D.C.; Paris, France; and Brussels, Belgium.
For the third year, the University of Tennessee, Knoxville, is challenging the University of Florida Gators to see who can recycle the most. UT won the first year, but not the second. The Vols want a tie-breaker. The duel is part of RecycleMania, in which colleges across the nation and Canada are ranked in an eight-week competition based on the amount of recycling and trash collected each week.
UT has been selected as a Top 20 green power using university by the Environmental Protection Agency’s Green Power Partnership. The Green Power Partnership is a voluntary program that encourages organizations to use green power as a way to reduce the environmental impacts associated with conventional electricity use. The Partnership’s Top 20 College and University list represents the largest green power users among higher education institutions within the Green Power Partnership, and the list is updated quarterly.
High school students have spent this school year designing and assembling electric bicycles, or e-bikes. Now, they get to see whose bike is the best climber, most agile, and fastest. The competition is part of a grant awarded to professors within the College of Engineering by the US Environmental Protection Agency’s People, Prosperity, and the Planet competition.
UT has received the Green Light Award from the East Tennessee chapter of the US Green Building Council. The Green Light Award is the highest award given to an organization for advancing sustainability through green building practices and design.
The spring semester is under way, and with it, a new semester of recycling at UT. The program provides services to all classroom and office buildings on campus, and collects paper, aluminum cans, and plastic, as well as compostable and other materials. Every office desk should have a blue recycling bin for paper, and there should be a blue recycling bin for paper next to every copy machine. If you notice any places where these bins are missing, e-mail UT Recycling at email@example.com.